本文是一篇英语论文，在布鲁克林，科尔姆·托宾（Colm Tóibín）向读者呈现了一个温暖的故事，故事叙述精炼。尽管遇到了困境和挫折，女主人公最终以顽强的意志克服了各种困难，这鼓励了许多身处逆境的女性移民。通过主人公Eilis Lacey在美国的成长过程和移民经历，本文得出结论，身份的探索和构建需要融入社会社区，并与散居空间中的不同族群互动。
Chapter One The Identity Dilemma of the Female Immigrant inDiaspora
1.1 Identity Anxiety in Ireland
For a person,identity is so crucial that a person will lose the sense of belonging withouta self-identity cognition.From the psychological aspect,people feel anxious and confused iflose their identity.In Brooklyn,Eilis is unable to find a decent job in Ireland’s hometown.Besides,she is also worried about her marriage because there are few suitable young men inEnniscorthy.Work and marriage bring her identity anxiety,which makes her unable to fulfillpersonal value in hometown.Compelled by her families,she is forced to leave Ireland and emigrate to America as an immigrant in diaspora.
1.1.1 Difficulty to Establish Social Position
Firstly,Eilis is haunted by the risk of unemployment in Ireland.The opening lines of thebook depict her sitting at the window on Friary Street and noticing her sister Rose who walksbriskly from work.In contrast with Eilis,Rose is the breadwinner of their families,who isrespected by people.She is always vigorous,glamorous,and stylishly dressed,while Eilis juststays at home and does housework with her mother.Besides,Eilis is still studyingbookkeeping in the Vocational School and dreams of working in an office.“She knows thatRose has tried to help her find a job in an office.But she also knows that there is,at least forthe moment,no work for anyone in Enniscorthy,no matter how qualified they are for the job.”(Tóibín,2009:11)Worried about her situation,even her mother prays for her,“A proper jobwill turn up.That’s what I am praying for every day.”(Tóibín,2009:21)Enniscorthy is theepitome of Ireland.Eilis understands the post-war’s economic recession leads to the bleakprospects of employment,especially for young women.Therefore,no matter how hard she is,it’s difficult for her to find a suitable job to feed herself in the Irish town.
1.2 Identity Displacement in America
In the contemporary world,diaspora is consolidated through experiences of forceddisplacement.Akram Alder in his Writing Displacement:Home and Identity in ContemporaryPost-colonial English Fiction suggests,“Displacement is indeed a removal:a removal from ageographical place.It is also an intense emotional transference that is carried across space andtime.”(Alder,2016:25)In this sense,diaspora is not only a border-crossing,but a trans-cultural act.Therefore,geographical removal and psychological transformation work togetherto shape immigrants’diaspora identity.In Brooklyn,Eilis’s identity displacement can be seenfrom her border-crossing experiences and mental struggle after the removal from Ireland toAmerica.
1.2.1 Geographical Displacement as a Female Immigrant
Stuart Hall and Kobena Mercer in The Fateful Triangle:Race,Ethnicity,Nation give amore detail statement about diaspora and physical displacement.Physical diaspora performs in the same way as geographical shift.“Diasporas are a metaphor for the production of newinterstitial spaces in which actual physical movement and displacement are key elements andalso symptomatic of the wider consequences of global connectedness and disjuncture.”(Halland Mercer,2017:164)In new spaces,movement and displacement constitute the diasporaidentity.In this sense,Eilis’s transatlantic journey is closely related to geographicaldisplacement.
Chapter Two Causes for Identity Dilemma of the FemaleImmigrant in Diaspora
2.1 Social Conditions in Ireland and America
According to Hall,identity is considered as a series of characteristics that are inherent inthe specific culture and nation.It is formed in the discourse of history and culture,which isabout positioning rather than essence.As for the causes for identity dilemma of the Irishfemale immigrants in diaspora,it is reasonable to explore the historical backgrounds ofIreland.The immigration tide lasts for several decades in Ireland.Considering this,the historyof Irish emigration and the Irish female diaspora in the 1950s should be discussed in exploringthe reasons that cause Eilis’s identity dilemma.Meanwhile,cultural background is also acrucial factor that influences the diaspora identity of immigrant groups.Therefore,this partfocuses on the social conditions in Ireland and America to explore the reasons of Eilis’sidentity dilemma.
2.1.1 History of Irish Emigration and the Irish Female Diaspora
Diaspora creates a sense of possibility about leaving Ireland and is thus embraced byIrish young women.A great number of women have been forced to leave Ireland for all kindsof reasons.It is harder to access the wider impact of emigration and female diaspora on thehistory of Ireland.Therefore,restating this historical event is conducive to explore the reasonwhy Irish female immigrants face diaspora identity dilemma.
2.2 Restrictions of Patriarchy and Catholicism
The Irish scholar Patrick Ward delves deep into the Irish past and into different culturalforms to trace a genealogy of exile.He offers a careful consideration of the place andexperience of Irish women in Exile,Emigration and Irish Writing.(2002)“The representationof young Irish women in the popular tradition continued the stereotypes moulded out ofCatholic teaching and patriarchal Gaelic nationalist discourse.They were idealized asbeautiful,virtuous,subservient handmaidens;they were celibate and single and almost totallysilent in the discourse surrounding emigration.”(Patrick,2002:152)Bound by assumedCatholicism and patriarchy of Ireland,these women have left as immigrants and diasporasvoluntarily and involuntarily.James Clifford also considers“Diasporic experiences are alwaysgendered.”(Clifford,1994:313)In Ireland,the regulation of Catholic teaching and patriarchaldiscourse severely fettered women’s self-development,which force them to leave home andbecome female immigrants in diaspora.
In the 1950s Ireland,women are more disadvantaged than men in a society which ischaracterized with patriarchal culture.When it comes to Eilis,it is the limitation of genderidentity that she cannot find a suitable job in Enniscorthy.Affected by national economy,women are more difficult than men to find a job in the 1950s Ireland.They are expected to begood mothers,wives and daughters at home doing housework.As one setting of the novel,Enniscorthy is a miniature of Ireland.
Chapter Three Exploration and Construction of the Identity of the Female Immigrant inDiaspora.....................39
3.1 Attempts and Efforts for Exploration and Construction of Identity...............39
3.1.1 Participation of Irish Women in the Diaspora Space............................40
3.1.2 Immersion in American Consumer Culture..........................................49
Chapter Three Exploration and Construction of the Identity ofthe Female Immigrant in Diaspora
3.1 Attempts and Efforts for Exploration and Construction of Identity
According to Hall,“The diaspora experience here is defined by the recognition of anecessary heterogeneity and diversity;by a conception of identity which lives with andthrough by hybridity.”(Hall,1990:235)After suffering homesickness and displacement in thenew culture,immigrants learn to adjust to the new environment and integrate into the localcommunity.In Brooklyn,as an Irish female immigrant,Eilis explores and constructs diasporaidentity by participating in the diaspora space of Brooklyn and immersing in Americanconsumer culture in the 1950s.
3.1.1 Participation of Irish Women in the Diaspora Space
Brooklyn presents a sensitivity to what Avtar Brah terms diaspora space in 1950s NewYork,and it demonstrates how Eilis Lacey,an Irish woman inhabits the diaspora space ofAmerica.This part will explore how Eilis’s identity is formed through her participation in thediaspora space of Brooklyn.It includes four parts:the boarding house she lives in,thedepartment store she works,the College she studies and the Italian man she loves.Throughattempts and efforts in different diaspora spaces,Eilis constructs her diaspora identity inBrooklyn.
Colm Tóibín is good at depicting Irish society,immigrant life,as well as personalidentity.His Brooklyn tells Irish girl Eilis Lacey’s immigrant experiences and psychologicalgrowth during her journey from Ireland to America.As an Irish female immigrant in diaspora,Eilis adapts herself to the local community,copes with the possible challenges andparticipates in the social activity to construct a positive identity in Brooklyn.
Limited by social environments and domestic situations,the small-town girl Eilis cannotfind a decent job and a suitable marriage in the 1950s Ireland.It is difficult for Eilis to fulfillher value in town.Annoyed by her social position in Enniscorthy,she is worrying about herfuture and feeling anxious about herself,which leads to the identity dilemma.In order topursue better prospects,Eilis leaves Ireland and emigrates to America as a female immigrantin diaspora.She encounters geographical displacement and then suffers fearful transatlantictravelling on the ship to America.When first arrived in Brooklyn,Eilis feels homesick andlonely in the new boarding house.Immigrants usually feel repressed when they lived in aforeign country or a new environment.Initially,she is unable to adapt to the outside world,and locks herself in the room.As a foreigner,she experiences physical and psychologicaldisplacement in the host land.